2005-06-01

Pseudo-Off-Topic

Among other things, I'd like to use this weblog to comment on really spiffy things not necessarily (or just tangentially) related to the Vs. Debate . . . something along the lines of the somewhat abandoned "Cosmic Thoughts" page. The items below aren't necessarily that spiffy, but give the drift of what I'll be going for:

For instance, the Jovian moon Amalthea is a large icy rubble pile less dense than water, though with mountains and craters and a position that would generally indicate a pretty solid body.

You can't always tell a book by its cover. But soon you'll be able to read the back cover without ever looking at it. I've long understood that if we could basically have impossible optical processing capabilities, we would be able to tell what was behind something else in a two-dimensional image.

Well, it turns out that we now have impossible capabilities. As noted here, we've developed a technique wherein a computer can reconstruct the backside of an object via the reflected light of it upon other objects.

The trick right now is that the reflected light originally comes from a very special projector that puts light and dark pixels on the backside of an object, and the computer determines what happens to the reflections. However, it seems likely that this technique will expand and be incorporated into other techniques. One day reconstructions could possibly be made just off of old video, albeit at less-than-perfect resolution. They might even be able to roughly approximate such things from still pictures, especially if the same scene is available.

As noted in the article, there's a certain holodeck quality to the idea, and they're quite right. One is reminded of Geordi's holodeck reconstruction of a somewhat invisible alien in the otherwise forgettable "Identity Crisis"[TNG4], or the reconstruction of 75% of a woman's blocked and shrouded face based on a still photograph in "The Vengeance Factor"[TNG3].

(That said, those are exceptions to my general opinion that the future (a.) won't look anything like Trek or Wars, and (b.) will put them both to shame all too soon in several arenas.)

7 comments:

  1. Wow, interesting info. Although I can see the future looking more like Trek than Wars, even though it'll probably never share much similarity.

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  2. The future will never be like wars in one respect, that we won't span a territory that size, and possess the numbers and armies that wars does. As for trek, the peace that trek enjoys wont ever happen, simply because it is human tendency, to be violent and power hungry, and i doubt half the tech would ever be created, like the replicator, or the universal translator.

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  3. Eh, ya never know... scientists are looking into warp drive, I hear...

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  4. Yeh, I know, some respects of both sides of the tech will probably be achieved within the next century, like blaster pistols, and even the warp drive...

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  5. Cameron, what on Earth makes you think that the Old Republic (or the Empire) spans across a huge territory (at least compared to the sizes of the major forces in Star Trek)!? We know from AoTC (in the scene in which Kamino is shown to be beyond the Outer Rim which is very close to the core) that the Outer Rim of the Republic is just beyond the galactic core. The Old Republic is confined to a chunk of space along the core. And we don't even know the size of the "Galaxy far, far away..."! Our own galaxy is one of the larger ones with a diameter of 100 000 ly.

    As far as the tech is concerned, I'm not so sure about the development of a faster-than-light means of propulsion involving a mysterious, imaginary domain such as subspace, but the transporters from ST are already a reality. The guys at MIT in Boston were able to transport several thousand photons. That's far from transporting atoms and molecules (especially complex organic molecules), but it's definitely promising. I don't know how could they develop blasters (or phasers for that matter) since we know nothing about their operating principle. Turbolasers and superlasers are also impossible because they're not really lasers or anything similar to lasers. Real laser guns just might be possible, although power is going to be a major problem.

    As for the utopian society of ST, I'm a bit skeptical about that. Especially when we consider the recent world events and think about the distribution of wealth and power in the world. Add the fact that the current leader of the world's number one superpower has a two-digit IQ...

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  6. I never said the transporter wouldn't work, and in fact i have heard about the progress of transporting photons, I just made an example. As for faster than light travel, engineers at NASA are looking into both hyperdrive (or hyperspace) and warp drive.

    As for the length of the Star Wars Galaxy (or the 'Corusca' Galaxy as i have heard people call it...), we will never really know how long it is, unless lucasfilm, or lucas himself makes a statement. I think that G2K has even tried to figure out the length of the SW Galaxy, but no real length will ever be known, therefore we just assume it is large.

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  7. The Outer Rim is much farther away than what Viribus Unitis is saying, the republic and empire covered much of the galaxy with the exception of some corporations and some independent worlds. And for what its worth, the federation has over 150 member worlds, while the republic and the empire have millions.

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